Mendocino Blue Heron Pale Ale

Mendocino Brewing Co.
Ukiah, CA
Blue Heron Pale Ale

Mendocino was one of the first small breweries I tried when I was first getting immersed in the wonderful world of beer, so I have a soft spot in my heart for them. However, I will try to remain a disinterested and unbiased sampler.

A billowing pure white head immediately puffs up and sits at a half inch while fine carbonation swirls up the glass. There is a bit of haze, but light passes through, showing of a burnished golden blond hue.

The nose is mostly powder-soft malt, with tart tangerine following close behind. The mouthfeel is full, if a bit metallic – the overall sensation is more tart than expected from a pale that’s not an IPA, but it’s not unpleasant. Crackery malt start off smoothly, evening out the palate like a bedspread, only to have the lemon-tart hops jump all over the mattress. Chewy woodiness follows up at the end and, while this brew isn’t exactly even, there is enough going on to maintain interest and prompt another sip. At a shade over 6%, this beer perhaps gets overpowered by the alcohol.

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